Her hands are above her head. Reaching from the water, searching for air so her mouth can inhale a much needed breath. Her eyes are open under the water, looking up through the blur of movement. Splashing. She sees his face.
Why isn’t he helping me?
Why doesn't he lean over to pull me up?
Why won't he recognize my panic?
Suddenly, she remembers her feet and instead of hoping he will help, she kicks with frantic fervor, using that momentum to push her through to the surface of the water.
Screaming and screaming at him. Sobbing. And inhaling much needed air.
She is exhausted but knows she must find solid ground. As she treads water, she looks at him in the boat next to her. How did she ever get here? Why is he trying to drown her?
She looks towards the beach. It is so far away. But it promises relief for her feet, rest for her arms, warmth on her chest and peace for her tormented mind.
And still he sits, staring at her. He is the one who pushed her down, deep into the water, refusing to let her come up for air.
The first time he did it, she barely noticed.
The second time he did it, she was confused.
The third time he did it, she blamed herself.
The fourth time he did it, she asked him to stop.
The fifth time he did it, she was afraid.
The sixth time he did it, she knew she needed to escape.
This time he did it, she fought back.
If she swims away, will he stop her, and attempt to push her under again with that hand she used to lovingly hold?
Or will he let her escape, leaving her with haunting memories she cannot trust?
Will he use both his hands to pull her up into the boat, hold her and genuinely tell her how sorry he is?
Or will he use those words to deceive her into believing he is sorry so he can continue to drown her?
Confusion and terror plague her. Survival is now her primal motivation for seeking that sandy shore.
He has attempted to drown her in variety of ways over the years by:
· Gaslighting (making her believe an untruth about herself or a situation)
· Stonewalling (refusing to talk further about an issue)
· Ghosting (simply ignoring her)
This is betrayal. Tragic. Debilitating. Horrifying. Silently drowning you until you cannot survive.
If you are drowning, there is hope.